All strong, healthy relationships hinge on the same key things: trust, respect, admiration… intangible elements that are built up over the course of many interactions over a long period of time.
The same goes for your relationship with your customers. Think of Live Video Shopping as a tool to facilitate those relationship-building interactions with a wider audience of customers than ever before. Just as a date or a lunch with a friend is an opportunity to deepen a connection with someone, a livestream is an opportunity to deepen your connection with your customers. And, just as you want someone to leave a date with you thinking, “I really like that person,” you want your customers to put down their phone thinking, “I really like that brand.”
So what are some tangible ways to do just that? And what are some missteps to avoid along the way?
Start with authenticity
It may sound counterintuitive, but a professionally produced livestream is instantly off-putting. When it comes down to it, the very best shopping livestreams are real people showing off real products. That’s it. Avoid fussy studios, instead, place your stream in an environment that reveals more about your brand or product, be that your retail space, production facility or headquarters. If you’re teaming up with an influencer or ambassador, place it in their kitchen or bathroom or closet… wherever they may actually use the product.
Flex your expertise
Using an influencer with millions of followers might be a good way to entice a larger audience to tune in to your stream, but if that person lacks the expertise on what they’re actually selling, what’s the point? A recent Forrester report states that the best live shopping hosts are often a brand's own sales reps. Often the most effective livestreams utilize employees from within your brand: the very people who have spent weeks or months or years developing or familiarizing themselves with the product. It can be anyone from the retail staff to the head designer to your CMO.
That isn’t to say that influencers are never valuable in creating the sort of livestreams that will build customer relationships. An influencer, or KOL (Key Opinion Leader) who has developed their own expertise through use of your product is an excellent host for your Livestream, and what’s more is they already have that close relationship with their own followers.
Don't forget about interaction
Have you ever spent time with someone who just talks and talks about themselves without letting you get a word in edgewise? Is there anything less appealing? One of the greatest things about live video shopping is that it allows for real-time comments and feedback. Sometimes these comments can be used to guide your segment – answering a recurring question shows your customers that you’re engaged and committed to building that relationship. An even easier way to foster communication is by having someone off-camera responding to comments and questions as they come in. Remember: it’s not produced, it’s live. A sense of spontaneity and real-time interaction will help you get to know each other.
Let your customers guide you
No strong relationship is built overnight, or in this case, in one livestream. Every time you go live and interact with your customers, you build towards that relationship. Live show by live show you learn what you customers want, what creates engagement and works.